Protected species

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority works closely with international, national, state and local agencies in the conservation and protection of biodiversity.

A protected species is a plant or animal that is protected by law and needs special management. Species may be protected at an international, national, state or local level:

In addition, protected species in the Great Barrier Reef are classified as either threatened, iconic or at risk:

  1. A protected species is classified as 'threatened' if its population has declined within and adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef
  2. A protected species is classified as 'iconic' if it is one of Australia’s most well-known plants or animals and requires special management in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
  3. A protected species is classified as 'at risk' if it faces pressure from human-related pressure activities within and adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef.

The list of protected species for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park includes:

  • Some shells - helmet shells, triton shells, tridacnid clams
  • Some fish - seahorses, pipefish, sea dragons, potato cod, Queensland grouper, barramundi cod, Maori wrasse, all groupers (Epinephelus) more than 100 cm
  • Some sharks - whale shark, grey nurse shark, great white shark, freshwater and green sawfish
  • Sea snakes
  • Crocodiles
  • Marine turtles
  • Birds
  • Seals
  • Whales and dolphins
  • Dugong.